Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor pumps up his tires at a bike-fix-station along the Lochside Regional Trail behind Saanich Municipal Hall – one of nine repair stations in the District. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich bike kitchens make tune-ups easy with free tools, tire pumps

District encourages active transportation with ‘accessible’ amenities

With nine free bike-fix-stations in Saanich a flat tire or a wayward bike chain shouldn’t get in the way of a sunny summer ride.

Since 2014, Saanich has installed nine free bike repair stations, also known as bike kitchens.

The first station was put in along the Lochside Regional Trail behind Saanich municipal hall in 2014. Now there is a bike kitchen at each of Saanich’s four recreation centres, one at the Cedar Hill Golf Course, one at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific and two others along the Lochside Regional Trail, said Kelsie McLeod, communications manager for the municipality.

The bike kitchens consist of a tall, hooked stand for bicycles to be placed on for easy access, a tire pump and a variety of tools for basic repairs and adjustments.

Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor gets his bike tuned-up at one of the District’s nine bike-fix-stations. (Devon Bidal/News Staff) July 2020

The tool kit includes a standard flat-head screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, a pair of steel-core tire levers, a hex key set ranging from 2.5 mm to 8 mm and a collection of wrenches. QR codes on the stand give users access to repair help.

Coun. Ned Taylor, an avid cyclist, said the stations are a component of the Active Transportation Plan in that they make cycling more convenient and accessible.

“The more amenities we have, the more people we’ll see out cycling,” Taylor said.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Taylor said he’s seen more residents head outdoors to enjoy local parks and try their hand at cycling and other forms of active transportation. Taylor hopes to see the trend carry over after the pandemic.

Several members of Saanich council are avid cyclists and Taylor hopes seeing members of local government on their bikes – for exercise and commuting – will inspire others. He feels small items such as bike-fix-stations in convenient locations or working to improve cycling routes make cycling more appealing and more affordable.

If any bike-fix-stations are in need maintenance, residents can call 250-475-1775 and ask for the Sustainability Division.

“If you think the bike repair stations are useful and you’d like to see more of them, please let us know,” McLeod said.


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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